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 Zacatecas State Guide

Zacatecas, Northern Central Mexico
Zacatecas, North Central Mexico
The state of Zacatecas is located in North Central Mexico at an elevation of approximately 7,700 feet. The landscape of the state is rugged and arid environment with little rainfall occurring. Zacatecas is bordered by the Mexican states of Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Jalisco, Aguacalientes, Durango and Nayarit.

Mines were soon established here, when the Spanish conquistadores found the area to be rich in silver deposits. These mining operations yielded great wealth for their overseers and became the foundation of several towns in the region. Today, Zacatecas remains strong in silver output, producing almost 20% of the world's production of this valuable metal. In addition to silver, gold, iron, copper and zinc are also mined here.

With the help of irrigation, agriculture plays a role in the state's economy as well with Zacatecas producing the country's greatest yield of beans, chili peppers and cactus leaves (nopales). A large percentage of Mexico's production of guavas, grapes and peaches are also grown in this state.

Catedral Zacatecas, Zacateca
Catedral de Zacatecas
A beautiful city to visit while in Zacatecas is the state capital, also named Zacatecas. The city is known for its fine colonial architecture made from pink limestone. Many consider the cathedral here the finest baroque church in all of Mexico. It is located in the Plaza de Armas, the main square in the city. Intricate carvings decorate the building's exterior and Mass is still held daily.

Next to the church is the Palacio de Gobierno, a handsome building where governors lived during colonial times. Inside one can view a modern mural showcasing the city's history. To get an eagle's eye of the city, Cerro de la Bufa is a prime viewing location. Walking to this lookout is a steep proposition, many choose to take a cable car to its summit. While in town, consider visiting the Mina El Eden (Eden Mine). Founded in 1586, tours are available to view this historic site. This locale also houses a popular underground nightclub called El Malacate.

While visiting this part of the state, consider visiting La Quemada ruins, a fascinating archaeological site located 35 miles southwest of the city. The Nahuatlac Indians had lived here (circa 1200 A.D.) before a fire destroyed the city. Already in ruins when the Spaniards arrived, this site includes a unique pyramid that has been restored, a palace with columns still standing and the walls that had once protected the city.

Each year the Feria Nacional Zacatecas (Zacatecas' National Fair) is held in September. In 2012 the dates are the 6th-24th. More information at


Hotel Santa Rita, in the colonial center of Zacatecas city.

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